Resolution honoring the 2019 Student Heroes

WHEREAS the State Board of Education’s Student Heroes Award, created in 2015, recognizes Texas public school students who engage in unselfish acts of kindness or service that benefit their fellow students or community; and
WHEREAS the SBOE members reviewed nominations and selected 15 students across the state as recipients of the 2019 Student Heroes Award; and
WHEREAS Hitzel Medrano, a sophomore at Del Rio High School in the San Felipe-Del Rio Consolidated Independent School District, voluntarily became a reading and math tutor, guiding and mentoring her English as a Second Language classmates; and
WHEREAS Irasema Orozco, an eighth-grade student at Diaz Junior High School in Hidalgo ISD, found her passion in working with donation drives to provide school supplies, clothes and toys to children at a homeless shelter; and
WHEREAS Samantha Almaraz, a junior at Lamar Academy in McAllen ISD, tackled food waste and food insecurity by creating the Energy Bar, a food pantry on her campus; and
WHEREAS Brianna Freeman, a senior at Carnegie Vanguard High School in Houston ISD, mentors junior high students, volunteers at a summer math boot camp and serves regularly at a soup kitchen; and
WHEREAS Abigail Redin, a junior at Smithson Valley High School in Comal ISD, who spearheaded the Soles4Souls project that collected more than 5,500 pairs of shoes in 11 days directly assisting people around the world; and
WHEREAS Claudia Favela, a cancer survivor who is a senior at Klein High School in Klein ISD, began the Be Bold, Go Gold organization to spread awareness about the impact of childhood cancer and the need for more research funding; and
WHEREAS Alexandria Swett, a third-grade student at C.W. Cline Elementary School in Friendswood ISD, goes out of her way to help and encourage classmates who are having a tough day or are feeling isolated; and
WHEREAS Eduardo Verastegui, a senior at Lewis Career and Technical High School in Pasadena ISD, creates positive and inspirational Spanish-language videos for his 400,000 YouTube followers that document what life is like in the United States for new immigrants; and
WHEREAS Joshua Silva, a junior at Robert E. Lee High School in Tyler ISD, helped launch a local Best Buddies chapter that creates 1-to-1 friendships between students in general education and special education; and
WHEREAS Epiphany Wilson, a senior at Royal Early College High School in Royal ISD, is known as a student who steps up and takes care of others, whether it is creating a Black History Month program, inspiring readers, or befriending lonely classmates; and
WHEREAS Stella Austin, a third-grade student at Heritage Elementary School in Keller ISD, created more than 110 stuffed cats to bring comfort to children who are hospitalized or living in a homeless shelter; and
WHEREAS Quinn Loach, a senior at Allen High School in Allen ISD, helped grow the Spread the Loaves program that prepares sandwiches for the homeless, tutors students in math and physics, and recruits students for the International Baccalaureate program; and
WHEREAS Merissa Rieken, a senior at Harmony School of Nature in DeSoto, actively volunteers hundreds of hours of service for organization such as the Dallas Children’s Aquarium and Mission Arlington; and
Meah Jones, a fourth-grade student at Old Settlers Elementary School in Lewisville ISD, makes and sells cookies to raise funds so she can provide books, toys, socks, and jackets to less fortunate students; and
WHEREAS Landon Morrow, a senior at Sands School in Sands Consolidated ISD, feeds his community by assisting with canned food drives, serving food at special school events and at funerals and is always willing to lend a helping hand, and
WHEREAS these amazing students have modeled caring and compassion in their communities; now, therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the State Board of Education extends its heartfelt thanks to each of these kindhearted students and commends them for their unselfish volunteerism, good character and integrity; and be it further
RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to each of them and that a copy be included in the permanent records of the State Board of Education.
WITNESS our signatures this fourteenth day of June, two thousand and nineteen, in Austin, Texas.

Donna Bahorich, Chair

Georgina Pérez, Secretary